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"Always the Tallest Guy in the Room"

I hope you remembered to pause and say "Happieth Birthdayeth" to George Washington today---281 years old and still alive! (Disclaimer: actual aliveness limited to the hearts of his countrymen. See warranty that expired in 1799 for details.)

From the day he took office, Washington knew that corruption and special interests would be a fact of life in the halls of power. (Today Republicans would obstruct him at every turn because "We are still troubled by all the unanswered questions about the surprise attack on that cherry tree.) President Obama, meanwhile, has followed in the footsteps of the Father of our Country:

George Washington on the cover of Time magazine
Washington was Time's Person of the
Year in 1789, and People magazine's
Sexiest General Alive in 1776.
As president, he was particularly sensitive to the diverse interests of the new country and fervent in his efforts to prevent its fragmentation. ... He promoted roads, canals, the post office---anything and everything that would bind the different states and regions together. ... Never taking the unity of the country for granted, he remained preoccupied throughout his presidency with creating the sinews of nationhood. … Washington, more than anyone, promoted the sense of Union that Lincoln and others would later uphold.

---From To the Best of My Ability, edited by James McPherson

Roads. Canals. Postal service. Or as Mitt Romney calls them: big gifts for the moochers. But thank god the lamestream media was on the case to call Washington out on his caliphatic socialist takeover agenda designed to destroy the soul of America:
[H]is critics believed he wanted to become another "King George." ... The Philadelphia Aurora, one of the major opposition papers, in 1796 editorialized: "If ever a nation was debauched by a man, the American nation has been debauched by Washington. If ever a nation was deceived by a man, the American nation has been deceived by Washington."
---From Rating the Presidents by William Ridings, Jr. and Stuart McIver
Washington wasn't perfect. He lied at times. He schemed at times. He could be a hardass. And he showed flashes of temper that sound downright McCainian:
At the Battle of Kip's Bay, when Connecticut militia retreated from British soldiers without firing a shot, the general exploded with an apoplectic fury, hurling his hat to the ground, swearing himself blue in the face, and cane-whipping everyone within reach.
---From Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents by Cormac O'Brien
But considering he didn’t have much of a POTUS playbook to work with, and no predecessor whose brain he could pick over an evening of bowling and beer, he did okay. Now shine up yer buckles and pay your respects to "#1" here. And watch out for that cane.

Your west coast-friendly edition of  Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, February 22, 2013

Note: A quick heads-up that there will be no C&J on Monday, but we'll be back bright and early on Tuesday.  Also a quick heads-up that in 50 trillion years the universe will explode in a giant fireball that will morph into a massive black hole and eat itself.  So plan accordingly.


By the Numbers:
Days 'til Daylight Saving Time starts: 16
Days 'til the Chinese New Year Festival and Parade in San Francisco: 1!!!!!
Estimated portion of the world's privately-held guns that are owned by Americans: 1/2
Projected year by which firearm fatalities will surpass motor vehicle fatalities: 2015
(Source: Harper's Index)
Percent of registered voters who believe that same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right: 75%
Percent who believe it will be legal nationwide in the next 5-10 years: 83%
(Source: Respect for Marriage survey)
Percent chance that Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Robert DeNiro will pick up their third Oscar if they win Sunday, joining the three-peat club with Meryl Streep, Walter Brennan, Jack Nicholson and Ingrid Bergman: 100%
(Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)


Puppy Pic of the Day (via Crooks & Liars): The "Batman" theme song as you've never heard it before…


CHEERS to Edward Moore Kennedy.  Teddy was born 81 years ago today and it goes without saying that he is missed on every imaginable level you can think of, including his sense of humor.  And with Obama pushing for an increase in the minimum wage, this is a perfect time to revisit one of Ted's finest displays of righteous bellow:

Pay your respects here.  And, as always, just for tonight if you feel like marking the occasion with some Boston cream pie, it won’t go to your waist.

JEERS to the era of lost marbles.  To get a sense of how inept Republicans are in describing their opinion of the looming fiscal cliff sequester bullshit, here's Senator Orrin Hatch to explain:

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch
A congenial-looking idiot
"I’m for sequestration," Hatch said, if Congress can’t cut spending. "We’ve got to face the music now, or it will be much tougher later." With across-the-board spending cuts set to kick in next week, Hatch said sequestration would lead to an economic disaster in Utah as two-thirds of civilians working at Hill Air Force Base would be furloughed. He said it would be "devastating to our nation’s readiness."
And he's not alone.  That's pretty much the GOP mantra right now: "We're going to financially fuck every one of you for no valid reason!  Hooray Awesome!!!"  Yeah.  Good luck riding that horse into 2014.

JEERS to really crappy odds. On Sunday's date in 1836, apparently as a direct result of artist Winslow Homer's birth (long story), 3,000 Mexicans attacked 182 Texans at The Alamo:

Brandishing his sword, General Ronald Reagan and his second-in-command, Colonel Rick Perry, took turns picking off the attackers as Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann loaded and fired the two functional cannons.  As Democrats fled in panic, Joe the Plumber and members of the Tea Party Patriots arrived in the nick of time to save the day.  The surrender ceremony was conducted on a battleship, followed by a ticker tape parade.  That's why today San Antonio is the capitol of the United States and also why God hates Democrats.
Um, Texas school board textbook committee? I think we need to have a little chat.

Gong!  Gong!!  BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!

This is another edition of The One Word Answer Man.  Betty Cracker at Balloon Juice asks:  Have you ever given or received anything odder than a worm farm?


Now back to Cheers and Jeers.

Gong!  Gong!!  BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!

BOOM CHICKA BOOM CHICKA BOOM to lasciviousness in Lobster Land.  Okay, okay, I surrender.  I admit  haven't written anything about the prostitution scandal involving that Kennebunk Zumba instructor and, apparently, half the men in southern Maine.  The trial is now underway, and this is just too awesome not to seal in the pixelated amber of recorded history:

Pizza guy delivers to woman in towel
Dramatic recreation of
the awkward moment.
The manager of a pizza shop next to the Zumba studio in Kennebunk where Alexis Wright allegedly ran a prostitution business testified Thursday that when he delivered food to her home, Wright dropped the towel she was wearing and stood naked in front of him.

"It got a little awkward. She was just standing there in front of me, naked," he said. "It was really awkward.  She proceeded to walk over to me and handed me the money.  It was $40 or $50.  I told her the bill was only $8, and she told me to keep it."

When the story broke, both the pizza guy and the Zumba instructor were immediately inducted into the Cheesy Porn Cliché Hall of Fame.

P.S. I don’t know what happens when you click the link above, but when I did I immediately got a pop-up promoting "A Real Meat Market."  I think it's either an ad for a butcher shop or part of the new Welcome-to-Maine sign at the tollbooth.

Tootsie Pop cartoon image of kid and owl.
"The answer's three,
ya dumb bastard."
CHEERS to the best candy turds in the wurld.  On this date in 1896, the Tootsie Roll---not quite fudge, not quite chocolate, but as addictive as both---was introduced by Leo Hirshfield.  This would probably be a good time to present the latest data on how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop:
Purdue University licking machine: 364 licks
Purdue University students: 252 licks
University of Michigan human licking machine: 411 licks
Swarthmore Junior High students: 144 licks
I still make a point to eat a few Tootsie Rolls every day. They help keep my ulcers plugged.

CHEERS to home vegetation.  Not a whole lot shakin' on the TV tomorrow that I can see, so we'll probably pop in a DVD or two---the new releases include the Criterion treatment of the 1954 Oscar-winning Best Picture On the Waterfront and the likely 2013 Oscar winner for Best Picture, Argo.  (Harry's full list is here.)  But Sunday's a big day, starting with the Daytona 500.  As usual, my money's on Herbie the Love Bug, but I'm kinda hoping Danica Patrick takes it.  On 60 Minutes: an entire hour devoted to the raid that ended the nasty career of world's worst Amway salesman Osama bin Laden.  And the aforementioned Oscars (nominations list here), hosted by Seth MacFarlane this year, will start Sunday night and end sometime in March.

On Bill Moyers & Company: economist Richard Wolff vs. unfettered capitalism; and activist and author Saru Jayaraman on the terrible way restaurant workers are treated and what can be done about it.  And don’t forget to the best weekend morning shows, Up! With Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris-Perry, who starts her second year tomorrow.

And here's your Sunday morning lineup.  Looks like there's a'gonna be a fight:

Meet the Press: Dueling Governors Deval Patrick (D-MA) vs. Bobby Jindal ("The Stupid Party"-LA); dueling roundtable with Harold Ford (not sure if he's arriving in his private limo or his private helicopter to talk about the plight of the less fortunate) vs. Peggy Noonan vs. Steve Inskeep vs. Mario Bartiromo vs. Jim Cramer.

Preparing for a duel.
The roundtable gathers for
their duel. Many people will
die Sunday...of boredom.
This Week: Dueling Congressmen Mike Rogers (R-MI) vs. Eliot Engel (D-NY) on the cyber threat from China; roundtable pitting George Will vs. Christiane Amanpour vs. Donna Brazile vs. Steven Brill vs. fmr. Treasury guy Steven Rattner vs. Fox News' Kimberley Strassel.

Face the Nation: Dueling Governor tag-teams Jan Brewer (R-AZ) and Bob McDonnell (R-VA) vs. Martin O'Malley (D-MD) and John Hickenlooper (D-CO), who will tie one brain lobe behind their back just to keep it fair.  Plus: the inevitable "serious discussion" of guns, video games and mental illness with Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), National Alliance on Mental Illness Executive Director Michael Fitzpatrick, Parents Television Council President Tim Winter, former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole and Texas A&M International's Chris Ferguson; and some politics chit chat with Nancy Cook (National Journal) vs. Scott Wilson (WaPost) vs. John Dickerson (CBS News).

CNN's State of the Union: CNN's State of the Union:  Mad Dog McCain vs. the world; Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on his meeting with Cuba's Raul Castro; dueling roundtable with Gov. Dan Malloy (D-CT) vs. former Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) vs. Gwen Ifill vs. Jackie Calmes (NYT).  P.S. For the record, it took John McCain eight weeks in 2013 to appear on all five beltway Sunday shows: ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and CNN.  Old man's slowin' down in his calcified years.

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Dueling Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) vs. Claire McCaskill (D-MO); dueling Governors Scott Walker (R-WI) vs. Jack Markell (D-DE); dueling roundtable panelists Nick Ayers vs. Mara Liasson vs. Bill Kristol vs. Evan Bayh.

And here's a fun little game, should you choose to inflict the above on yourself: count the number of times the Very Serious People chuckle as they're discussing how the sequester will wreck people's lives.  Cuz it's funny h'yuck!


Five years ago in C&J: February 22, 2008

JEERS to fighting with feathers.  This is what I remember from last night's debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama:

Obama and Hillary at Feb. 2008 debate
"No matter which of us wins, McCain's toast."
"No shit, Sherlock."
"I agree with you."
"I agree with you."
"Not all the time, but most of the time. Y'know?"
"I know."
"Great. Hey, I got an idea. Let's make copies of our butts in the Xerox room and send 'em to McCain."
How will our party survive such savagery.


And just one more…

CHEERS to the best place at Daily Kos to play around in the dirt.  Tomorrow when you see Frankenoid's Saturday Morning Garden Blogging post on the recommended list, be sure to stop by and say "Hibiscus!"  It's the eighth---Eighth!!!---"annual"-versary of the "blooming" of her "perennial" column.  It's the first thing I think when I wake up on the weekend, actually: "Gotta go read, tip and rec Frankenoid."  Our garden season is so short in Maine we appreciate living vicariously through Frankenoid's---and her talented surrogates---green thumbs.  A few years back we cornered the Colorado Kossack for some organic Q&A:

Iris phhoto taen by Frankenoid
Here's proof, Judge, that Frankenoid
takes great pics. Iris my case.
What motivated you to start the column?
I was fairly new at Daily Kos and looking for my niche.  On a fine morning in late February, I was waiting for it to get warm enough to go outside and fart around in the garden and, with Friday night cat blogging as the inspiration, put up the first Saturday Morning Garden Blogging.  There were 46 comments, it was fun, so I kept doing it.  And now I have a fine pictorial record of my garden for the last [8] years.

Ha Ha!  You said fart!  So how long did it take for Saturday Morning Home and Garden Blogging to become the Daily Kos weekend icon it is today?
Garden blogging made the rec list for the first time the 11th week, and took off from there.

The Garden Weasel: useful tool or overrated piece of junk?
Piece o' crap.  You can look at it and tell tines aren't big enough to do what they're purported to do.  Get a Mantis tiller instead---power tools!

Happy blogiversary, garden bloggers.  And the rest of you?  I hope thistle get you to read it tomorrow morning and stick around a lily bit, and that it makes you want to come back clover and clover again.

Have a great weekend.  And thank you---big huge thank you---for all your kind words as we adjust to life without C&J's chocolate lab, Molly, who died Wednesday.  It means the world to us.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?



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